Hys­te­ria over the Paris pullout

The lib­er­als have only demon­strated their hos­til­ity to­ward sci­ence

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Cal Thomas Cal Thomas is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist. His lat­est book is “What Works: Com­mon Sense So­lu­tions for a Stronger Amer­ica” (Zon­der­van, 2014).

For sheer hi­lar­ity and hy­per­bole it’s hard to beat a re­cent head­line on a Wash­ing­ton Post editorial op­pos­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion to re­move the United States from the non­bind­ing and un­en­force­able Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment.

“Trump turns his back on the world,” it screamed.

A close sec­ond goes to the head­line on a New York Times piece by colum­nist David Brooks: “Don­ald Trump Poi­sons the World.”

Dis­hon­or­able men­tion goes to former pres­i­den­tial ad­viser David Ger­gen, who said on CNN that Mr. Trump had com­mit­ted “one of the most shame­ful acts in U.S. his­tory.”

The sec­u­lar pro­gres­sives have again re­vealed their di­min­ished ca­pac­ity, which ought to dis­qual­ify them from lead­ing any­thing, es­pe­cially the coun­try.

The cen­tral ar­gu­ment sup­port­ing “cli­mate change” has been that a “sci­en­tific con­sen­sus” ex­ists on the sub­ject. Two things about this. The first is that cli­mate sci­en­tists who dis­agree on that con­sen­sus have been largely shut out of the de­bate. Their papers and ideas are blocked from main­stream sci­en­tific jour­nals and, thus, are not sub­ject to peer review. Pol­i­tics ap­pears to have over­shad­owed sci­ence.

Sec­ond, there have been nu­mer­ous cases in the not-too-distant past when an em­pir­i­cal con­clu­sion among sci­en­tists was touted as rock-solid truth, but which later, after fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion, proved to be dead wrong. As with cli­mate change, politi­cians and ed­i­to­ri­al­ists told us we had to ac­cept the con­clu­sions, re­lated costs and pos­si­bly even di­min­ished life­styles in or­der to save the planet. After all, these were sci­en­tists and were thought by many to be as close to God as sec­u­lar­ists get.

Newsweek magazine fea­tured a cover story in 1975 about “global cool­ing.” That was sup­posed to be a sci­en­tific con­sen­sus.

A June 2010 ar­ti­cle in Rea­son magazine lists some of the other Chicken Lit­tle claims about dooms­day be­ing just around the cor­ner. The magazine’s sci­ence writer, Ron­ald Bailey, found a July 1, 1979 is­sue of The Wash­ing­ton Post claim­ing a “broad sci­en­tific con­sen­sus” that sac­cha­rin causes can­cer. It took 30 years be­fore the Na­tional Can­cer In­sti­tute re­ported, “There is no clear ev­i­dence that sac­cha­rin causes can­cer in hu­mans.”

That same year, notes Mr. Bailey, the Post pub­lished a story cit­ing re­searchers who be­lieved eat­ing more fiber ap­peared to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the in­ci­dence of colon can­cer. “Twenty years later,” writes Mr. Bailey, “a ma­jor prospec­tive study of nearly 90,000 women re­ported that, ‘No sig­nif­i­cant as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween fiber in­take and the risk of col­orec­tal ade­noma was found.’ ”

Prior to 1985, there was “sci­en­tific con­sen­sus” that acid rain caused by elec­tric­ity-gen­er­at­ing plants fu­eled by coal and emit­ting sul­fur diox­ide was de­stroy­ing vast acres of forests and lakes in the east­ern U.S. In 1991, notes Mr. Bailey, “after 10 years and $500 mil­lion, the Na­tional Acid Pre­cip­i­ta­tion As­sess­ment Pro­gram study … con­cluded, “That acid rain was not dam­ag­ing forests, did not hurt crops, and caused no mea­sur­able health prob­lems.”

There is much more in the ar­ti­cle that is worth read­ing. It should hum­ble the sci­en­tists, politi­cians and ed­i­to­ri­al­ists who want us to em­brace an­other “sci­en­tific con­sen­sus” on “cli­mate change.”

Pres­i­dent Trump should counter his crit­ics by con­ven­ing a White House con­fer­ence on cli­mate. In ad­di­tion to the apos­tles of cli­mate change, he should in­vite sci­en­tists — and only those spe­cial­iz­ing in cli­mate sci­ence — that have been marginal­ized from the de­bate. These would in­clude MIT cli­mate sci­en­tist Dr. Richard Lindzen, who claims be­liev­ing that car­bon diox­ide con­trols the cli­mate “is pretty close to be­liev­ing in magic.”

None of those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­posed con­fer­ence should be aca­demics or sci­en­tists who re­ceive fed­eral grants or have other con­nec­tions to gov­ern­ment. This might give them a con­flict of in­ter­est and re­duce their cred­i­bil­ity.

Let’s have a high-level de­bate on this is­sue and set­tle it once and for all.

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